On 16 May 2023, the Centre for Financial Crimes and Security Studies (CFCS) from the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI) and the Independent Anti-Corruption Advisory Committee (CCIA) organised the round table ”The Illicit Finance and Corruption as Security Priorities: Building Resilience in an Age of Russian Aggression”. The event was organized with the financial support of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the U.S. State Department.
The event aimed to raise awareness to the threat posed by illicit finance to Moldova’s national security, democracy, and stability, alongside finding ways to strengthen responses and galvanise civil society and other anti-corruption national and international actors.
During the event, was explored the current illicit finance threats to Moldovan democracy and how corrupt actors actively use financial measures to gain a foothold in the country. The war in Ukraine creates opportunities for domestic and transnational individual oligarchs and kleptocrats, their networks and, where present, their state sponsors, to profit enormously from instability and wartime disruption and distraction. It aimed to democratise the knowledge of the vulnerabilities in the Moldovan system and how these might be seized upon again and thus potentially undermine the country’s future, both in terms of security, stability, and even potential access to European Union membership.
Having articulated the challenges and their impact on Moldova’s security and stability, it was analysed how to develop transparent and accountable responses that would allow Moldova to be vigilant and avoid falling prey to corrupt actors during these extraordinarily dangerous times as well as to draw on international experiences, and how they could help strengthen Moldova’s approach to illicit finance.
At the event were present a number of high-ranked stakeholders of the law enforcement institutions and supervision authorities from the Republic of Moldova. H.E. Ambassador Kent D. Logsdon, United States Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova also attended the event. This workshop represented the first partnership between the CCIA and RUSI on which both organisations will build future collaboration on combatting illicit finance and corruption.
As a next step, CCIA and RUSI will host a media roundtable on 17 May.
This discussion seeks to bring together selected anti-corruption civil society members and media representatives to explore the threat posed by illicit finance to Moldova’s national security, democracy, and stability, alongside ways to strengthen responses and galvanise civil society and other anti-corruption national and international actors.
The event summarised the key takeaways from a discussion held the previous day with civil servants and other representatives from the Moldovan government with a focus on anti-corruption in the country, civil society organisations, private sector and third-country government representatives.